Essay Contest

Essay Contest2024-04-02T14:05:48-04:00

The 2024 Essay Contest is now closed. Winners will be announced in July.

About the Contest

The Lasker Essay Contest engages early career scientists and clinicians from the US and around the globe in a discussion about big questions in biology and medicine and the role of biomedical research in our society today. The Contest aims to build skills in communicating important medical and scientific issues to broad audiences. The topic is announced annually in early February, and winners are announced in mid-July.


The Contest is open to medical school students, interns, residents, and fellows; doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in biomedical sciences; and graduate students training in health professions programs e.g., public health, dental, pharmacy, etc who are currently doing research. Applicants (from the US or any other countries) must be currently participating in an educational program. This program may be located in any country.


Winners will receive up to $5,000. Monetary prizes will be directed to the winner’s university to be used towards the winner’s educational expenses.


Essays should be 800 words or less and must be written in English. We allow only one essay submission per applicant, and the essay must be written by a single author. The use of any generative AI tool (e.g. ChatGPT) in composing an entry is prohibited – all essays will be screened with software designed to detect use of AI. Essays need to be original; content previously published will be disqualified.The file containing the essay should include the essay title and the applicant’s name, email, and institutional affiliation. The 800-word limit applies to the body of the essay. Field-specific scientific jargon should be avoided or explained.

Evaluation Criteria

Essays will be evaluated based on their originality, quality of writing, style, and clarity. Essays that are not written in English or are longer than 800 words will not be considered.


The winning essays will be published in the July issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

All Winners

Read the Winning Essays


Allison R. Chen
Research Training in an AI World

Louise O. Downs
Is a Test Better Than No Test When There Is No Treatment?

Ayush Kumar
Using HG1222 — A Perspective Into the Ethics of Collecting Biospecimens

Salman E. Qasim
The Human Brain: The Final Frontier and the Wild West

Sneha P. Rath
Cementing the Bricks


Kaelyn Cummins
Microbes, Medicine, and Astronauts: Reflections on a Collaborative Project

Azmina Karukappadath
Two Fields, One Dream

Hussain Lalani
I Would Be Scared if I Heard That Too

Rutvij Merchant
Pathways to Global Health Equity: More Seats, Fresh Perspectives

Kirti Nath

Avik Ray
Unified Diversity: The Team Game


Ziad Ali
What Happens Now?

Banafsheh Nazari
Embracing Technology, the Pandemic’s Lesson for Us

Trisha Pasricha
One more question

Miriam Saffern
My Mother is a Layperson

Adina Schonbrun
The Cornerstone of Scientific Success: Unsung Frontline Heroes of the COVID-19 Pandemic


Emily Ashkin
Michael Bishop: A Scientist for the Next Generation

David Basta
For the Love of Science

Avash Das
Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein: Tribute to My Inspiration

William Dunn
Sweet Are the Uses of Adversity

Safwan Elkhatib
Salk, Sabin, and the Crown of Health

Laurel Gabler
Putting “People’s Health in People’s Hands”: How the Bangs Inspired my Personal Journey

Kwabena Kusi-Mensah
As One Single Tribe: Thinking Globally and Locally

Lisa Learman
With the Corn, Against the Grain

Olivia Lucero
Genetics as a Tool for Generational Empowerment

Hannah Mason
My Gym Genie: Gathering Inspiration from Dr. John Schiller

Samantha Wong
Fauci: Science as a Voice of Reason


Grace Beggs
Game On: Smartphone Technology for Science Education

Peter John
Making it All Fun and Games in the Biomedical Sciences

Dereck Paul
Pathways: A National Mentorship Program for High School Students Underrepresented in Science and Medicine


David Hartmann
Cancer Survivors: Outstanding Advocates for Trust in Science

Debra Karhson
A Verification Vaccine for Social Contagion

Caroline Vissers
Diversity at the Top of the Social Media Signaling Cascade


Abigail Cline
Science and Cinema: From the Benchtop to the Big Screen

Tammy Tran
Science Is Everywhere: Unexpected Science Encounters in the Course of Everyday Life

Michael Wu
Search for Science: Smart Search-Linked Discussion Forums

Jennifer Bratburd
Breaking through Barriers to Science with Citizen Science

Apurva Lunia
Dissemination of Biomedical Research Via Multimedia Platforms Using Existing Healthcare Frameworks

Jessica Sagers
Let’s Get Real: (Re)making Scientists Into People


David Ottenheimer
Modern Neuroscience Has the Tools to Treat Psychiatric Illness

Therese Woodring (Korndorf)
Hacking the Bacterial Social Network: Quorum Sensing and the Future of Microbial Management

Unikora Yang
The Cutting Edge of DNA Editing: Translating CRISPR to Improve Human health


David Hill
Mutual Understanding: Uncovering the Mechanistic Basis of the Host-Symbiont Relationship in Human Health

Joseph Rathkey
In Silico Modeling as an Ideal Platform for Future Biological Research and Discovery

Stephanie Ng
Depression and the Final Frontier

Omar Toubat
Mastering the Genetic Reprogramming of Cells


Peter Soh
Offering Incentives for Future Scientists

Michael Burel
Catalyzing Broad Public Interest in Scientific Research

Nick Andresen
Crowdsourcing a Medical Research Donation Database

Gregg Gonsalves
Researchers as Advocates and Activists

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